At the heart of it all, I’m a fan. A fan of books and bookstores. A fan of fiction and non-fiction. A fan of authors and publishers. And most of all I’m a fan of great conversations sparked by books. All that to say - I really need more bookshelves.
I first stumbled upon Heather Cox Richardson’s writing back in 2020 when I read How the South Won the Civil War. Which I found fascinating. Her premise is insightful, the research was well done and the writing even better. It was the kind of book that makes you see the impact of historical decisions playing out in the day-today news and happenings all around you. It’s also the kind of book that leaves you with questions as you may not see eye-to-eye with her, but man is the conversation worth having. There is no downside to reading whatever Heather Cox Heather Cox Richardson writes.
Her new book Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America is just 250 pages broken into 30 chapters. As she tells it: “…it tries to explain how we got to this political moment…and how we get out.” Sounds like another worthwhile and thoughtful read – whether you agree with her or not.
The second annual Bookstock Festival occurs this Saturday, May 20th, at the New Heights Community Resource Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The event is hosted by The Literacy Council of West Alabama and is FREE!
The Bookstock Festival kicks off at 10 am and will close at 2 pm. So it’s a narrow window if you can get there. The folks from the University of Alabama Books Arts Program will be leading a book construction session starting at 10:30 am-12:30 pm.
There is also a painting project where folks can paint Little Library boxes. There will be author readings, information tables for local area book clubs as well as sign-ups for tutoring help, plus scavenger hunts, photo booths, and more!
It’s free to get in, and lunch is free too!
Fingers crossed that the weather is good and the turnout is even better. Seeing how book-related events can unite communities and help improve things is fun.
Is this beautiful pup the one entering all the new data into the Libby library app?
“Libby is currently training to be our first canine librarian. She will officially join our staff in August. Check back here for a schedule of Libby’s appearances and to find ways to support Libby’s adoption.”
August seems so far away now. Can’t wait to hear more! If you’d like to keep up with the library, you can check out the site or follow them on all the social channels. They also have a fun Friends of the Library store you should check out if you’re in the Hoover, AL area. They have great prices.
Authors Eugene Walter and Kathryn Tucker Windham will be inducted posthumously.
Billed as a ‘gala event,’ this year’s proceedings will be overseen by Harper Lee Award winner Carolyn Haines. The dinner features food and cocktails by Eugene Walter, who was famous for hosting parties with Truman Capote way back when.
This is the first in-person gathering held by the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame since before the pandemic.
During that event, they inducted seven Alabama authors. The 2020 class included Mark Childress, Faye Gibbons, Carolyn Haines, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, and Michael Knight, with authors Ralph Ellison and Zelda Fitzgerald being inducted posthumously.
Here is a list of all the past Alabama Writers Hall of Fame inductees:
The 2018 Inductee List
Joseph Glover Baldwin
William Bradford Huie
Shirley Ann Grau
The 2016 Inductee List
E. O. Wilson
Mary Ward Brown
The 2015 Inductee List
Johnson Jones Hooper
Zora Neale Hurston
Sena Jeter Naslund
Helen Norris Bell
Augusta Jane Evans Wilson
I assume that no one was inducted in 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic, which is perfectly understandable. I have looked and looked, and I can not find a mention of why there were no Alabama Writers Hall of Fame classes for the years 2017 and 2019. If you know why that is, chime in and let a curious book blogger know.